“I’ll pull th’ ca’ round to th’ front yad and pak it.”
“Ok. I’m a gonna worsh it in a lil bit.”
“Huh? “Pa, you alright?”
“You just sound like a hick! I think maybe you’ve got that awful hillbilly disease that’s goin’ roun’. We’d better get ya to the hospital, quick!”
“Oh hell naw! I don’t wanna talk like no southern white trailer-trash! Maybe the Doc can fix me up with some remedy fer it!”
In a matter of weeks there were 11,000 cases of D.I.C. in New England. Fearing a person-to-person route of contamination, most of the population wore paper masks with germ filters when out in public. Despite the rising levels of infection, the CDC and Dr. Rosenberg appeared to be no closer to isolating the cause or devising a treatment.
Other than the loss of verbal identity, there were no health issues but for the multitudes affected, it was unbearable. They were proud Yankees and being stricken with the accent and vocabulary of a Southern NASCAR fan was torture. Unsurprisingly, those from the Southern states found the idea of the disease hilarious and hinted that it was revenge for looking down on them intellectually. By comparison, the infected often made true Southerners sound like Rhodes scholars. It was a topsy-turvy, upside down world and hundreds of new cases were being reported every day.